Later On

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Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Why the 10,000 steps

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Victor M., a reader of the blog, passes along an interesting post from

It takes 28 steps to walk from your bedroom to your refrigerator and 317 to get to work. If you manage to rack up even a couple thousand steps between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., it’s a pretty good day. Time to hit the gym if you’re going to get 10,000 steps, appease your fitness tracker and edge out your friends on the step-count leaderboard.

But do you really need to hit 10,000 steps per day for better health? Short answer: Not really.

What You Need to Know About the 10,000-Step Recommendation

Pedometers sold in Japan in the 1960s were marketed with the name “manpo-kei,” which means “10,000 steps meter,” according to a Sports Medicine review. Just like that, the number stuck.

And while the original 10,000-step recommendation was anything but scientific, overall, it holds up pretty well in helping the general population improve their health, says Daniel Neides, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. On average, healthy adults take between 4,000–18,000 steps per day, according to a review from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. And in a 2015 PLOS ONE study, people who increased the number of daily steps from 1,000 to 10,000 cut their risk of death by 46%.

“What we know is that 10,000 steps equates to about 4–5 miles, or an hour to an hour and 15 minutes of brisk walking,” Neides says. “That’s about the midway point of what we are looking for from people in terms of physical activity.” To prevent cardiovascular disease, the sweet spot is 20 minutes–2 hours of aerobic exercise per day, says Neides, noting that heart disease, the number 1 cause of death in the U.S., kills more people than all forms of cancer combined.

That’s why he’s way more concerned with minutes than steps. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t have a step recommendation; instead it recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise like brisk walking or 75 minutes of vigorous activity like running per week. For anyone counting, that works out to anywhere from 3,500–8,000 steps per day. And, no matter how much aerobic activity you get, the CDC still recommends getting at least two hours of strength exercise per week. That raises an important point: Dumbbells lifted don’t count toward your step count, but they make huge improvements to your overall health, Neides says. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 June 2016 at 3:40 pm

Posted in Business, Fitness

How the body fights back against weight loss

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It’s a multi-pronged counterattack: first, the body cuts back on the amount of leptin and other hormones that trigger satiety, which means you feel hungry more. (I find that a low-carb, high-fat help diet helps here, since digesting fat takes time and produces more satiety per calorie.)

And it also drops your metabolism rate, so that you burn fewer calories, so that a diet that would stabilize your weight previously now adds the pounds. One just has to grow accustomed to smaller plates and smaller portions. I do find that a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack helps both with satiety and with weight loss. I eat 1/2 apple at each snack, so a total of an apple a day.

Detailed information in this NY Times article, and well worth reading if you’ve ever fought the battle of the pounds. I realize now that I probably must track my food intake permanently because if I simply go on what I feel, my body will deceive me back to slow and steady weight gain.

Right now I’m just about to dip below 200 lbs (again).

UPDATE: I should add that those discussed in the NY Times article had lost a dramatic amount of weight quite quickly. I’m losing weight much more moderately, around 5 lbs/month. It may well be that gradual loss does not trigger the kind of pushback that rapid loss does.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 May 2016 at 9:40 am

One minute a day of strenuous exercise has same health and fitness benefit as 45 minutes of moderate exercise

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Very interesting article in the NY Times by Gretchen Reynolds. The core:

. . . One group was asked to change nothing about their current, virtually nonexistent exercise routines; they would be the controls.

A second group began a typical endurance-workout routine, consisting of riding at a moderate pace on a stationary bicycle at the lab for 45 minutes, with a two-minute warm-up and three-minute cool down.

The final group was assigned to interval training, using the most abbreviated workout yet to have shown benefits. Specifically, the volunteers warmed up for two minutes on stationary bicycles, then pedaled as hard as possible for 20 seconds; rode at a very slow pace for two minutes, sprinted all-out again for 20 seconds; recovered with slow riding for another two minutes; pedaled all-out for a final 20 seconds; then cooled down for three minutes. The entire workout lasted 10 minutes, with only one minute of that time being strenuous.

Both groups of exercising volunteers completed three sessions each week for 12 weeks, a period of time that is about twice as long as in most past studies of interval training.

By the end of the study, published in PLOS One, the endurance group had ridden for 27 hours, while the interval group had ridden for six hours, with only 36 minutes of that time being strenuous.

But when the scientists retested the men’s aerobic fitness, muscles and blood-sugar control now, they found that the exercisers showed virtually identical gains, whether they had completed the long endurance workouts or the short, grueling intervals. In both groups, endurance had increased by nearly 20 percent, insulin resistance likewise had improved significantly, and there were significant increases in the number and function of certain microscopic structures in the men’s muscles that are related to energy production and oxygen consumption.

There were no changes in health or fitness evident in the control group. . .

The research was done by scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 April 2016 at 4:18 pm

Health/diet notes

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It turns out that the pain in my right hip is due not to bursitis, the doctor’s first suspicion, but sciatica, from inflammation in the sciatic nerve. The tip-off is that the pain sometimes goes down my leg into the outside muscle of my calf. Ice packs, Advil, and stretching exercises should help.

A dietary note. For several days this week I watched my caloric intake like a hawk, keeping it around 1050 calories/day and certainly below 1100 cal/day. And yet my weight stayed the same or even went up a little.

I was complaining about this, and The Wife reminded me in my last serious weight-loss effort I had hit a similar plateau but when I followed the dietician’s advice and had a small piece of fruit (e.g., half an apple or a plum) as a mid-morning snack and another similar mid-afternoon snack, my weight loss resumed. It was very strange and quite noticeable: if I kept calories on track and stopped the mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, my weight loss stopped; if I resumed the snacks, my weight loss resumed.

So this morning I had half an apple, and this afternoon I’ll have some berries.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2016 at 12:12 pm

Posted in Fitness, Food, Medical

My Semogue 1305 wakes up! with Martin de Candre and the ATT R1, with a Fine finish

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SOTD 2016-04-01

UPDATE: It’s actually the Semogue 1305.

As I noted in yesterday’s SOTD post, I’ve been making lather with my new Semogue 1305 with every shave, along with whatever brush I’m using for the shave, and after each pass I test the 1305 to see how the lather’s doing, and until yesterday the lather was gone by the time I ended the first pass: really nothing left in the brush, which would have required reloading if I were shaving with it.

But yesterday, suddenly, the lather was fully present after not only the first pass but even after the second and the third, with plenty of lather left at the end for more passes. It was a very abrupt transition, and today I decided to give it a go. I chose a good-lathering soap, Martin de Candre, and loaded the brush well.

The same thing happened today: loads of lather present for all three passes. If the brush were a cat, it would be looking at me and saying, “What?”

The Above the Tie R1, here with the Atlas handle, is a very good razor for me: totally comfortable and easily delivers a BBS result, which it did again today. The Atlas handle has struck me as somewhat shorter than I prefer, but today I got with the program, accepted it for what it is, and realized that it does a fine job. The spiraled handle is both grippy and pleasant, and I enjoyed the entire shave.

A good splash of Fine’s l’Orange Noir to finish the shave, and I’m a happy guy.

I weigh for the record on the first of each month, and my weight is now down 15 lbs from the first of the year—so that’s a loss of 5 lbs/month, which is not bad. In looking at daily averages by month, I’m getting a grip on the meal planning. My daily average net carbs for the three months (Jan, Feb, Mar) has steadily dropped: 58g, 45g, 44g. My goal is less than 50g net carbs per day, so I’m on track there. Average daily calories are also trending down: 1459, 1325, 1294. My goal for April is 1199 average per day. We’ll see.

I use to track meals, and I’m finding that checking the month view to look at the running average is helpful.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 April 2016 at 8:44 am

Posted in Fitness, Shaving

Why don’t they just feed us kibble? It’s going in that direction. — Jaw-dropping story of a Silicon Valley juice-box startup

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Yes, really. Read this NY Times article by David Gelles: what sure seems like a crackpot money-sinkhole of an idea is sold on the basis of machine feeding, more or less. From the article:

By some measures, Juicero is very much on trend. Soylent, a liquefied meal replacement, is already popular among single-minded coders too busy to eat. Chime, a device meant to brew Indian chai, will soon be on the market. A company called Tovala is raising money on Kickstarter, hoping to build a hybrid microwave and toaster, and also sell specialized meal packs.

You have to read the article to believe it.

BTW, note also in the article this very clear depiction of meme competition and evolution (and dead-ends).

To succeed, Juicero will have to buck these trends, and also clear a more pedestrian hurdle — persuading people to pay a premium for another kitchen doodad. “Seven hundred dollars for a small cooking appliance is extremely high,” said Virginia Lee, beverage analyst for Euromonitor. “There are a lot of appliances competing for counter space, never mind the wallet.”

And I personally, as a type-2 diabetic (and I’ve heard that there are more than a few of us around), juice is contraindicated: a type-2 diabetic needs the fiber that the Juicero discard and definitely doesn’t need the quickly-digestible high-carb product. So I think the reception might be substantially underwhelming. But I’m sure he’s made his bundle, which is what the whole exercise seems to be about, unless it actually is to move us all closer to a piped-in diet of kibble and sludge.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 March 2016 at 8:45 pm


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I dug out my pedometer. The 30-minute walk itself is 3250 steps, so my daily total is probably under 5000 steps, short of the 10,000 steps/day goal dreamed up by pedometer manufacturers to sell pedometers. (In case you ever wondered why the goal is not set for duration or distance: if you set the goal that way, you don’t need a pedometer, but if you can be convinced that the goal is 10,000 steps, then a pedometer is pretty much a requirement. Thus the 10,000-step program, the first step of which is, of course, to admit that you have a problem.

Assuming a 30″ stride, 3250 steps is just over 1.5 miles, and that takes me 30 minutes, so 20 minutes per mile (3 mph).

Written by LeisureGuy

7 March 2016 at 1:09 pm

Posted in Daily life, Fitness

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